Visual Design for User Experience


Course Description:

This immersive course will introduce students to some of the fundamental principles, practices, and processes of visual design in the context of sound user experience disciplines. By approaching the subject from a business and brand perspective, students explore and experience the merits of visual design, with a clear understanding of its real-world applications.

The chief aim of the course is to increase students’ understanding of the anatomy of successful visual design, and how it informs and shapes user experiences. Through a series of interactive in-class design exercises, case studies, and instruction, students confront principles of visual design such as unity, space, and balance - learning what makes for a successfully composed design, whether in print, digital, or physical spaces. With a deepened understanding of design elements like color, typography, and imagery, students will practice how to use those insights to tell a compelling and intentional visual story.

In addition, the course provides the opportunity and the platform for students to develop and strengthen the crucial skill of storytelling. With it, they will pitch design solutions that demonstrate how design objectives are derived from and help further brand and business objectives.

Great design can be a strategic business advantage, because it has the power to impact behavior, inspire change, and harness enduring user engagement. In this course, students will explore that idea, amongst others, and come away with a greater sense of how to participate in it.


Topics covered:

  • Design elements and visual composition
  • Color theory
  • Typography
  • Interaction principles
  • Graphic identity
  • Communication design
  • Adobe Creative Suite- including Illustrator and Photoshop

Skills to be acquired:

  • How user-interface design principles are applied to interaction design using human motor performance and human perception principles to guide this application
  • Basic understanding of visual composition and human performance and how they are essential to the design of computer-based interfaces
  • Studio setup and training in creativity



This is an intensive course with six all-day sessions spanning two weeks.

Session 1: Introduction

Session 2: Space

Session 3: Organizing Forms in Space

Session 4: Organizing Forms in Space

Session 5: Organizing Forms in Space

Session 6: Color theory for digital displays

Session 7: Color

Session 8:  Typography

Session 9: Typography

Session 10: Typography

Session 11: Images

Session 12: Images

Session 13: Images

Session 14: Project work

Session 15: Project Presentations


Homework assignments and two projects are given.  The homework assignments include a physical visual composition, digital visual composition, typography creation, digital color generation and manipulation, and digital imagery composition will be given.  The two projects will include a digital design and a final presentation of design.


“The essence of visual design for the rest of us.” This course provides the studio setup and training in creativity which is rarely taught outside of design schools, but which is essential to User Experience Design.